Over 66% of landlords and tenants across the UK believe poor communication is the biggest issue with their letting agents. Letting agents are entrusted to manage properties from listing to maintenance and more. Yet a single agent can manage anything between 5 to 70 properties alone. Not to mention, they must maintain stellar in-team communication.
What happens when a property manager is off sick? How do staff communicate, track and log information? Inter-agent communication is the most underrated key to efficiency and improving relationships with stakeholders.
Why In-Team Communication is Key
Strong in-team communication is essential for success. This can help you win over new landlords, prevent any conflict or misunderstandings and build symbiotic relationships with tenants. It increases the likelihood of stakeholders singing your praises and spreading positive word of mouth. Consequently, you could reduce the marketing budget by managing expectations efficiently.
In turn, tenants will be happier and likely renew their lease, resulting in fewer vacant properties. Landlords will trust you with their portfolio instead of cutting ties and moving to another agency. With effective in-team communication that improves efficiency, businesses will come flocking. Here are four reasons to consider that can be solved with one simple tool.
1. Takeover Staff on Sick Leave
Just like any job, property managers get tired and ill too. However, if a member of the team is bedridden, how does the other know what outstanding work needs to be done? It could be an ongoing maintenance issue, a property viewing at two o’clock or a meeting with a new potential landlord.
With a property management tool, all this information will be recorded. Every member can see what has been actioned or needs actioning. So staff can log in and pick up from where the other left off. This keeps landlords and tenants happy, and makes you stand out from other letting agents. Plus, as supply and demand in the rental market grow more competitive, keeping efficient and on-trend is paramount.
2. Prevent Expensive Maintenance Mistakes
Another big issue with poor communication is repairs and maintenance. As you’re aware, there are several steps taken between reporting and fixing a problem. Forming a diagnosis of the issue, updating stakeholders and ensuring a busy contractor’s availability must be factored in.
Worst-case scenario, the contractor may miss the appointment and fail to communicate this to the property manager, who in turn forgets to update the tenant. Failing to document this information can result in the tenant making an emergency call-out. Then the landlord has to cover a hefty charge, which may reduce their confidence in you.
However, you can avoid this with a repair reporting tool which updates all stakeholders and team members. A tenant can report a maintenance issue with all necessary information and images. This can be sent directly to the contractor, saving an unnecessary trip – and petrol money you would cover – for a diagnosis. An automated workflow is triggered so each stage and whoever’s responsible follow through.
Remember: we are growing accustomed to live updates. Think about online shopping or ordering a takeaway – that’s how tenants want to resolve maintenance issues. Having automatic updates that improve in-team communication means you cut costs. And thereby increase profitability in the long run.
3. Streamline Logging and Accessing Data
No one is a stranger to the spreadsheet. But as you scale your property portfolio, you’ll find it harder to log all the essential information. Furthermore, you need to consider how each agent will track data easily.
This is where property management software comes in handy. One part allows you to store information, from deposits and rent to repairs and tenancy data. Limited access to information slows down processes. But if you have access to all documents and information in one place, it bolsters team communication. In turn, this boosts efficiency and reduces the risk of human error versus spreadsheets.
You can also create reports and workflows for each member of staff to view – which doesn’t require flitting between several spreadsheets or paper files. Instead, all communication is logged and centralised in one place so that nothing gets lost.
This means tasks are resolved quicker, prevents any outstanding issues from being missed and ensures a smooth process.
4. Improve Reporting for Disputes
Another challenge is creating a report documenting finances or maintenance. But if there’s an issue, like a tenant stops paying rent, compiling this information can take months – time you don’t have to squander.
With all communication logged in one place and an audit trail from start to finish, this fast-tracks building reports. In the case of tenancy disputes, you’ll have precise data to defend your case.
A transparent dialogue will be recorded regardless of which staff member was in charge. This improves your efficiency so you can invest resources into business growth, as well as strengthen relationships with stakeholders.
- Letting agents have an abundance of challenges, most of which boil down to in-team communication.
- Having an all-in-one system that allows each staff member access to the same information, documents and data will improve efficiency.
- Better efficiency enhances your agency’s service offering and profitability.
*Disclaimer: please note this blog is only intended as a guide, and is not to be taken as legal advice*